(Washington, DC) – The long-awaited Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report, “Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” was released to the public on December 9. It was greeted with shock, disgust, disbelief, and anger by both elected officials and average, ordinary, everyday Americans.
And those were the good reactions.
Many are convinced that the Legislative Branch is simply feigning outrage over the 5-year, $40 million report.
“Regarding Congress, average, ordinary, everyday Americans have been outraged for years because they’ve had to watch the institution disintegrate before their very eyes,” said a political pundit, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Plus, if anyone wants to direct their outrage, they should look at the price tag for this report.”
The outrage – feigned or not – comes from the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) lying to the White House and Congress. And, on top of using torture to gain information, some of the methods of torture were especially heinous. In addition to sleep deprivation, beatings, waterboarding, and pointing guns to captives’ heads, uncooperative detainees also had to endure “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding.”
“I don’t know why Congress finds this last one so outrageous,” said a CIA spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Members of Congress have had their heads up their asses for decades.”
Another method of interrogation: use of the movies Gigli and Shanghai Surprise. But this is not the first time these movies have been used as inhuman instruments of torture and torment:
- In March, Russia banned the broadcast of the Oscars due to its invasion of Ukraine. Demonstrators who refused to clear Russian streets were forced to watch Gigli, which caused severe nausea and forced them to withdraw.
- Also in March, at the Copenhagen Zoo and Abattoir, four of the zoo’s healthy lions were killed to make way for a new male lion. Two of the four committed suicide; one was forced to watch Gigli, while the other was forced to watch Shanghai Surprise.
- In May, Richard Hornsby – an employee of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) – suffering from mental issues, threatened to arrange for a mandatory screening of Gigli for all FHFA employees.
Many in the American intelligence community braced for demonstrations and outrage in the Islamic world – especially from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (also known as “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” and “Islamic State (IS)” and “Al-Qaeda in Iraq”) – but initial reaction was muted. Still, some could not see how Islamic Fundamentalists could complain about the report’s findings.
“These are the people who killed 2,750 people in New York City by blunt-force trauma,” said a Congressional critic of the new report, speaking on condition of anonymity. By being burned alive. By being crushed as two 110-story buildings pancaked upon them. By jumping out of windows more than 60 floors up. And we see the same people today decapitating Americans. So, in the grand scheme of things, what’s the big deal?”
In fact, former First Lady, presidential candidate, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY) suggested a kinder, gentler attitude towards those who would kill, maim, and torture average, ordinary, everyday Americans.
“This approach means ‘showing respect, even for one’s enemies; trying to understand and, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view,’ she said at Georgetown University on December 9.
Criticism was swift, with some claiming that Clinton had “lost her head” when addressing the treatment of America’s decapitators.
Critics of the CIA’s methods continue to insist that Americans don’t torture. But American history differs from this perception of reality:
- On June 7, 1998, in Jasper, TX, 49-year-old African-American James Byrd, was beaten, chained by his ankles to the back of a pickup truck, and dragged for 1.5 miles to his death.
- On October 6, 1998, in Laramie, WY, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was robbed, pistol-whipped, tied to a fence, and left to die.
- On April 13, in Overland Park, KS, 73-year-old white supremacist Frazier Glenn Cross shot and killed two people at a Jewish community center, and one more at a Jewish retirement home in suburban Kansas City, Missouri. There is perhaps a sense of irony in that the three victims were not Jewish.
In the end, the CIA is unlikely to lose funding or face any kind of punishment for its illegal practices.
“Maybe we crossed the line, maybe we didn’t,” said a CIA spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But America is about second chances. That’s why we in the CIA are immune from the penalties we truly deserve.
“And I’m sure we’ll get more than one more chance to torture someone else down the road. It’s what we do.”